Judging Team Events Overview

State Judging Team Events Overview

Judging Teams help youth to develop life skills in the areas of decision making, critical thinking, oral reasoning, self-confidence and problem solving. Youth evaluate a class of four items and then answer questions or orally defend their placings. Iowa 4-H has four judging programs that are available to youth enrolled in 4-H.    

Dairy Judging
In dairy judging youth evaluate classes of dairy cows and heifers and then defend their placings through oral reasoning. Youth learn the dairy cow unified scorecard and major breakdowns, anatomy of the dairy cow, along with dairy judging terminology.

Horse Judging
Horse judging is an activity in which youth learn and apply knowledge of the ideal features of a variety of breeds and riding styles.  They must evaluate each horse in relation to the ideal for the breed and in relation to other horses or riders in the class. In addition to placing the class, contestants must also defend their placings through oral reasons. The state horse judging event takes place as a part of Equine Extravaganza.

Virtual Livestock Judging Coaches Training

Dr. Chris Cassady and Mr. Will Taylor, ISU Livestock Judging Coaches will be leading the program.  This is a training for adults at the  beginner level and will cover recruitment, how to “teach” judging, reasons and how to make the most out of practices as well as topics that are of interest to the group.  View recorded sessions below.

Introduction to Coaching a Livestock Judging Team 
Coaches Training Webinar - Recorded May 1
Conducting Effective Practices and Resources for Judging - Recorded May 8
Reasons and Questions - Recorded May 15

Meat Judging
Meat Judging trains youth to distinguish differences in the values of various meat cuts. Youth learn how to evaluate and identify retail cuts as well as wholesale cuts and carcasses. The 4-H meat judging program allows youth to learn about the different cuts of meat along with the trimness and quality factors that affect the safety and taste of the meat products we consume.

State Livestock Judging
Livestock judging consists of analyzing beef cattle, sheep, swine and meat goats and measuring them against a standard. It is the study of the relationship between an animal’s form and function. Livestock judging has two primary components 1) placing a group of animals and 2) orally justifying your decision.


Sample Contest Questions


Video Tutorials 

Welcome to the site!  We've compiled a great selection of videos to get you started or even if you're an experienced judge.  Check out the video below for what we have to showcase, then sign in below to check it all out.  By providing your email address, get updates when new videos are added.